I teach in a small high school that focuses on community engagement and community involvement. One of my goals as a teacher is to empower my students to become change-makers in their communities. Our school also focuses on educating every young person who comes through our doors as a whole person, not just as a student. I care not just about whether my students can support their claims with evidence but also whether they go on to lead healthy, happy lives. I know that their academics and their wellbeing are also intricately connected; their daily wellbeing affects their capacity to learn.
My students inspire me.
They advocate for causes they care about at the state house, participate in science programs at local universities, and enact ambitious projects that spark conversation at our school around important topics like domestic violence, racism, and mental health. They step out into their communities to enact change on a weekly basis.
My students have big dreams. Unfortunately, many of them have also come across roadblocks to those dreams, often in the form of traumatic events. They are hungry for tools to help them navigate that trauma.
I want to bring mindfulness into my classroom. I see it as a tool for wellbeing, a tool that my students can use both in my classroom and after they leave. I’m convinced by the evidence I’ve read that mindfulness will also make my students more able to focus on the learning at hand. I can’t bring mindfulness into my classroom, however, without learning more about it myself.
I want to attend a mindfulness retreat for educators so I can bring what I learn back to my students and to my school.
I plan to share what I learn with the other teachers at my school so that we can create a culture of mindfulness. I hope to engage all teachers and students in a school-wide mindfulness practice so that we can collectively improve our wellbeing and center ourselves on the important learning and community engagement that happens on a daily basis.
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